A Divided World

anti-politics-vote-for-nobody

What a world we live in…

Over the past year or so, the world has witnessed a great deal of change and numerous unforeseen events. From the EU refugee crisis; increasing tensions between EU and Russia; the UK vote for Brexit; to the surge of terrorist activity – particularly from ISIS; increased shootings of vulnerable groups in the US; China’s abolition of the one-child policy; Turkey’s coup-attempt; Brazil’s impeachment; Estonia’s first female prime minister (following the departure of the bold, sartorially elegant and comedic genius that is Thomas Ilves); the Indian PM’s bold moves on corruption; Kashmir’s first female state chief minister; and America’s presidential election. A turbulent year to say the least. In some areas progress is made, whilst other regions are stuck in reverse. Yet all of these events represent merely the tip of the iceberg; entrenched societal inequities lay hidden beneath.

Focussing just on the EU and US, populist uprisings have seemed to dominate the political landscape throughout this past year. Movements have occurred in the UK and US, as ‘shy’ voters (seen in the Tory elections of 1992 and 2015, and now the Republican US election of 2016), fail to admit their true intentions to polls, and therefore election results come as a surprise. But the rise of anti-politics is real. These unforeseen voting patterns are an expression of widespread discontent; people are unhappy and therefore fall victim to the hypnotising charisma of demagogues.

 

Now that ‘unpopular’ opinion has become apparently ‘popular’ in the eyes of the disenfranchised, egos are likely to grow and attitudes darken. The future for the US (and the ‘99%’ living within) is likely to be bleak, with even greater societal divisions based on sexist, anti-immigrant and xenophobic sentiments. Not exactly what  Yet we do not know what the future will hold. Perhaps even the president-elect doesn’t know himself. It is clear that whatever courses of action both the US and EU take, the world will be watching with angst – ready to brace themselves for impact if necessary. While very recent elections in Austria offer a glimmer of hope, Italy’s referendum may represent a win for Eurosceptics, both the US and Australian leadership ‘bromances’ are dissolving, and the French and German elections are fast approaching, so let’s not breathe a sigh of relief just yet…

 

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